As I was reading Bone Gap, which I liked a lot even though there were odd elements, I kept getting the feeling that I was missing something, as if there was some hidden trap door in the room and all I had to do was find it and I would be able to travel to some deeper level of the novel. I just found the door thanks to this review in the New York Times by Maile Meloy. It relates to Greek mythology.
Apparently Zeus had a sister named Demeter who was in charge of the harvest. When Demeter was happy so was everyone else because the plants grew and the harvest was plentiful. Demeter had a happy daughter, Persephone, and the two romped around together. When Hades visited the earth from the Underworld with his three-headed dog, Cerberus, Persephone happily patted the dog's heads instead of being fearful. This drew Hades attention and he kidnapped Persephone. He set her up in a beautiful palace in the Underworld. Persephone was so unhappy she wouldn't even eat. Hades told her she could leave if she figured out how to get out. While Persephone was gone all the plants withered because her mother Demeter was so worried and sad. In fact, while Demeter was in a fury over Persephone's absence she may have birthed a great big, black, and magical horse, Arion. Eventually Hermes and Hades struck a deal and Persephone was allowed to live with her mother for half the year and the other half with Hades. (Ancient Myths for Kids.)
Now, knowing this, the full meaning of the book comes into sharper focus for me. Bone Gap shares several characters with this Greek myth. Roza, a Polish girl is like a combination of Persephone and Demeter, Once she arrives in town all the plants flourish but after she is kidnapped, all the plants seem to wither. There is a giant, magical black horse that just appears out of nowhere and a strange dog that seems to be guarding something no one can see. A sinister kidnapper, who seems less and less human as the story progresses, conjures an inescapable castle. Many characters are seemingly plucked straight from Greek Mythology.
On the surface, Bone Gap is a coming-of-age tale of Finn and his love interest, Petey. Both of them are misfits in their small town yet they enjoy the company of the other. And like any good tale there are all kinds plot twists and turns, this one involves a little-known condition, prosopagnosia. There are many levels to this gem of a book. I challenge you to explore them all.
Read it. You'll find out what it means and how all the pieces come together. Believe me it is magical and not to be missed.
30 books Summer Reading Challenge
4 / 30 books. 13% done!